Energy ETF 'XOP' Leads Solid Weekly Inflows

November ETF flows ended on a strong note, bolstered by a huge surge in assets for the energy equity fund 'XOP.'

Senior ETF Analyst
Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

When it comes to flows, the month of November ended just as it began―with big inflows into U.S. equity ETFs. According to the latest data from FactSet, investors added $7.1 billion to U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds in the week ending Thursday, Dec. 1. Most of the money went into U.S. equity funds, which had inflows of $6.8 billion. Year-to-date inflows now stand at $225.3 billion.

At one point this week, the S&P 500 hit another fresh record high above 2,214 before pulling back modestly by the end of the period. An unexpected cut in production by OPEC pushed energy equities sharply higher, but was offset by concerns about rising interest rates and a weekend referendum on polical reform in Italy.

International equity ETFs and U.S. fixed-income ETFs also had inflows of $833 million and $797 million, respectively, during the week. U.S. Treasurys continued to tumble, with the 10-year yield reaching 2.49% on Thursday.

Meanwhile, commodities were the worst ETF segment of the week. Outflows totaled more than $1 billion, once again due largely to the woes of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD).

XOP & Junk Bonds In Favor
In terms of individual ETFs, the most notable winner was the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). Its weekly inflows of just under $1 billion were huge for a fund that had less than $2 billion in assets at the start of the week.

OPEC's decision to cut production on Wednesday pushed WTI oil prices to more than $51, around the best levels of the year. That bodes well for XOP, an ETF that holds an equal-weighted basket of U.S. energy producers. 

A pair of junk bond ETFs also made the top 10 inflows list. The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) saw inflows of $682 million, while the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) had inflows of $395 million. For much of the year, high-yield bond ETFs and oil prices have been tied at the hip, as energy companies are some of the largest junk bond issuers.

Also making the cut for the top 10 was the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO). After surging in the weeks following Donald Trump's victory, the dollar stabilized this week, giving some relief to emerging market equities. VWO's inflows totaled $640 million.

Outflows Pile Up For GLD & UWTI
Tumbling gold prices scared more investors out of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) this week. The world's largest physically backed gold fund had outflows of $810 million in a week in which gold prices fell as low as $1,160, their cheapest level since February. 

Another commodity-related flows loser was the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI), with outflows of $428 million. UWTI and its sister ETN, the VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN (DWTI), are scheuled to delist from the NYSE on Dec. 8. After that date, the products will only trade over-the-counter, if at all. 

Nevertheless, it was a good week for UWTI from a returns perspective. The leveraged ETN gained more than 30% in the week, thanks to surging oil prices. 

For a full list of this week's top inflows and outflows, see the tables below:

Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETF1,397.2687,293.541.63%
XOPSPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF966.562,862.4050.98%
FXRFirst Trust Industrials/Producer Durables AlphaDEX Fund770.271,271.62153.64%
HYGiShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF682.2116,904.534.21%
VWOVanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF639.8644,121.561.47%
IJHiShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF407.4633,034.891.25%
JNKSPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF395.5211,396.693.60%
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR Fund373.2921,233.611.79%
XLYConsumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund297.0010,892.672.80%
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund287.5867,896.180.43%

Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

TickerNameNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($, mm)AUM % Change
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust-1,046.02208,304.60-0.50%
GLDSPDR Gold Trust-810.4432,949.41-2.40%
FXGFirst Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX Fund-734.12914.19-44.54%
UWTIVelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN-428.041,062.35-28.72%
MDYSPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust-350.4218,071.71-1.90%
LQDiShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF-268.4629,231.76-0.91%
IEFiShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF-253.327,916.75-3.10%
EMBiShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF-240.568,186.26-2.85%
SMHVanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF-183.05764.58-19.32%
IAUiShares Gold Trust-173.237,602.23-2.23%

ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity6,751.241,415,713.830.48%
International Equity832.94492,986.800.17%
U.S. Fixed Income797.07402,430.890.20%
International Fixed Income-37.7439,762.86-0.09%
Asset Allocation66.166,294.361.05%

Top 10 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

TickerNameAverage Volume
(30 Day)
1 Week Average
% of Average
RYFGuggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Financials ETF207,457925,763446.24%
MLPCC-Tracks Miller/Howard MLP Fundamental ETN2,85810,754376.26%
IBDMiShares iBonds Dec 2021 Term Corporate ETF83,769312,891373.52%
FXEUPowerShares Europe Currency Hedged Low Volatility Portfolio247,2081,422,741575.52%
BSCKGuggenheim BulletShares 2020 Corporate Bond ETF177,803618,493347.85%
HEWUiShares Currency Hedged MSCI United Kingdom ETF111,519648,507581.52%
EEMAiShares MSCI Emerging Markets Asia ETF33,788120,717357.27%
RYUGuggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Utilities ETF33,702127,202377.43%
SPHBPowerShares S&P 500 High Beta Portfolio639,7211,715,931268.23%
BSJIGuggenheim BulletShares 2018 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF335,201785,687234.39%

Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.


Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays,’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.